Seattle Sounders announce multi-year contract extension for MVP candidate Obafemi Martins


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SEATTLE — The Seattle Sounders announced a multi-year contract extension Tuesday for forward Obafemi Martins with the striker coming off an MVP-caliber regular season.

Terms of the deal were not announced by the club, but Martins said after practice Tuesday that he was excited to stay with Seattle and hoped to play with the Sounders for "three years as the contract says." According to the Major League Soccer Players' Union, Martins made slightly more than $1.75 million in guaranteed compensation this past season with Seattle as a designated player.

Martins is among the favorites for league MVP after scoring a franchise-record 17 goals and adding 13 assists as Seattle finished with the best record in the league and won the Supporters' Shield for the first time in club history. Martins assisted on the game-winning goal in Seattle's 2-0 win over Los Angeles last weekend that clinched the regular-season title.

"Oba has been an integral part of our team on and off the field, and has established himself as one of the premier players in MLS," Seattle general manager Adrian Hanauer said in a statement. "He was a monumental signing when he first joined us last season, and we are thrilled that he will continue his career with Sounders FC."

Martins, who turned 30 on Tuesday, came to Seattle from Spanish club Levante. Martins also played for Internazionale in Italy and Newcastle United in the Premier League, before bouncing between a handful of European clubs prior to his arrival in Seattle.

"I'm very happy to have signed a contract to be with this team and these players for multiple years," Martins said. "This season is not over yet, so I'm excited to do more and score more goals, but it's nice to know I'll be here going forward."

Martins has paired with Clint Dempsey to form one of the best scoring duos in the MLS and seemed to be at his best when the games meant the most. He had two goals and two assists in a 4-2 win at Portland in August. He recorded two assists on Oct. 19 when Seattle rallied from a 2-0 deficit for a 2-2 tie at Los Angeles, and then capped his standout regular season assisting on Marco Pappa's first goal in last Saturday's win over the Galaxy.

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